An Obsession With Squares

My followers know I learned traditional geometric patchwork and quilting when we moved to Denver in 1987, but after a year or so I began to make my earliest art quilts. I’ve been focused on the nice symmetry and balance of a square ever since; and while searching for my earliest mention of concentric squares, aka the Square in a Square block of traditional p&q, I found an early 2005 blog post – and it amazed me that the quilt I referenced in that was made so long ago –

“Heritage Quilt” 2005 ~70cm x 95cm (in retrospect that’s an odd title)
work in progress

These days I’m still basting square outlines of ~4inches, which must be my inbuilt comfort setting; and I’m still finding ways to use squares in/on other squares. Let me quote from that 2005 post –

And finally, a little session focused just on doodling with pencil and paper did it. Just squares and triangle thingies, dots and dashes, and all of a sudden inspiration took over.”

This is still how a lot of my design work begins….. and I concluded:

“I feel this is a new direction compatible with my interest in the origins, factual and legendary, of patchwork and quilting, and exploring the common ground between the traditional quilts and what has developed in the contemporary/art quilt world. The square outlined by the grey basting stitches is around 4″ side.”  The right half of the photo above shows just a little of the grey basting thread up near the top of the frame. 

I was a teenager when I developed an interest in early Man and his primitive activities as known only by unearthed artefacts and markings on cave and rock walls. That prompted me to to study at tertiary level the better documented and understood later ‘ancient’ civilisations of Greece, Rome and Egypt, and I’m always thrilled every time new discoveries are made on all continents. I’ve always been fascinated by markings and patterns that appear from within human groups we know were not in contact with each other. These marks probably have proper name, but I just call them ‘primal symbols’. I feel I need to thoroughly investigate ‘squares’, probably one of the great primal symbols… but today I don’t have the time – I’m stitching at full speed on the latest squares work, and have only 25/112 left to do – and have to get back to that. It’s a dank grey day outside, perfect indoors / stitching weather.

These squares are ~3.5″ across, so about 4″ must be my comfort zone! And yes, that is a big needle, in fact a darner which suites me perfectly, and with the hoop’s help, enabling me to sew each stitch quite fast, in one smooth movement..

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